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Anxiety but still progress


Ralph

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Seems most of my symptoms have gone physical. I can use the CBT stuff I am learning to avoid panicking mentally right now, but I still will experience rapid heart rate, dizziness, sweating and the rest. Also overreacting to outside stuff, getting scared by loud noises that are part of everyday city life.

Learning that relaxation is an art. I have to take some time to proactively relax instead of reacting to anxiety and trying to cope all the time. Went for a bike ride today and found myself near a pond that had some ducks. I felt much better for that moment. Also using hot water such as shower or hot tub to unwind. Should probably try sauna at the gym too.

I've been drinking too much and that is probably driving a good deal of my panic. Time to back off again, which I don't like because I really love all types of beverages but I'm not sure the hangovers and emotional problems are worth it. How can I be so sensitive to alcohol when others seem to have a glass of wine with dinner without a minor crisis.

OTOH I am doing better at taking care of myself and even had the presence of mind to call my boyfriend this morning when I was feeling a little dissociated, which can lead to panic if I let it snowball on me. So with meditation, yoga, eating better, getting therapy plus self help I feel like I'm putting forth a strong effort. I would like to have better results right now but I guess I have to be patient. Using lists for time management and gotten from maybe 30% follow through to about 60% in terms of probability I will do something given that it's on my list. It is a little hard to deal with the fact that just because I think I can do something in 10 minutes doesn't necessarily mean it will happen that fast. Always forget about setup and takedown effort.

Struggling with typical objections: I'm too old, not good enough, shouldn't be so self centered, but I have read this is the same stuff that comes up whenever a human being tries to change, for example finding a new career. So that is evidence I'm normal. Phew. Could use a little normality for a change.

Not sure what to do about feeling too selfish. Planning to volunteer with an organization I like after info session Jan 3, but that's not the kind of selflessness I had in mind. I really need to figure out how to be more thoughtful, more sensitive to the needs of others around me. Trying to figure that out has been behind at least some of the anxiety as well. How can one be sensitive to the normal people?

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I don't know why the 'quote' option sometimes doesn't show in the blogs, so I'll just colour code:

"I've been drinking too much and that is probably driving a good deal of my panic. Time to back off again, which I don't like because I really love all types of beverages but I'm not sure the hangovers and emotional problems are worth it. How can I be so sensitive to alcohol when others seem to have a glass of wine with dinner without a minor crisis." Ralph, you said the other day that you can simply not drink when you choose to. Does that mean 'cold turkey' is the only thing that works for you? By 'sensitive' do you mean one drink affects you a lot or one drink leads to several more?

"OTOH I am doing better at taking care of myself and even had the presence of mind to call my boyfriend this morning when I was feeling a little dissociated, which can lead to panic if I let it snowball on me." Could loneliness be your problem today - are you two apart for the holidays?

"So with meditation, yoga, eating better, getting therapy plus self help I feel like I'm putting forth a strong effort. I would like to have better results right now but I guess I have to be patient. Using lists for time management and gotten from maybe 30% follow through to about 60% in terms of probability I will do something given that it's on my list. It is a little hard to deal with the fact that just because I think I can do something in 10 minutes doesn't necessarily mean it will happen that fast. Always forget about setup and takedown effort." From 30 to 60% - that's huge progress!

"I really need to figure out how to be more thoughtful, more sensitive to the needs of others around me. Trying to figure that out has been behind at least some of the anxiety as well. How can one be sensitive to the normal people?" Could it be: 'Normal people' are intimidating? Their needs just don't seem so earth shattering? Maybe try asking how they are, how their family is, how they handle work/life balance. Sometimes lots of stuff comes up - somebody's dying, their kid's having trouble in school, they screwed up on something. Everybody's got problems.

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Thanks for the feedback. I'll just reply in order...

One drink seems to affect me more than other people, but not until the day or second day after. I wonder if it could be a metabolite of alcohol setting off a chain reaction that my body overcompensates for, possibly interacting with my meds. Not supposed to drink while taking p-meds, guess this is why. One drink won't in itself lead to several more, but sometimes I have several on purpose because it feels good. Until the next day, that is, but tomorrow always seems so far away when you're having fun. :eek:

Yes my boyfriend is back overseas now. Loneliness is definitely a problem. I tried joining a few clubs etc, but I can never make the leap from people who you say hi to in a class for example to someone you would call just to chat or go to a movie with.

Of course being a perfectionist, I only see 40% failure, not the progress I'm making. Thanks for pointing out that I have made some progress.

I'll try asking people about their family or life. My problem is I don't pick up on social cues until too late. It's like there is some social code that most people understand intuitively, but I've only picked up a few of the rules, such as "how are you" is not really saying what the words mean, but rather a social ritual with a prescribed answer and response to that answer. And when somebody compliments you, you are supposed to compliment them back. I'm trying to learn but the rules seem to be very complicated and I didn't get it when I was young. I guess it's that normal people are intimidating because they know the rules of the game, and I don't.

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I wonder if it could be a metabolite of alcohol setting off a chain reaction that my body overcompensates for' date=' possibly interacting with my meds. Not supposed to drink while taking p-meds, guess this is why. One drink won't in itself lead to several more, but sometimes I have several on purpose because it feels good. Until the next day, that is, but tomorrow always seems so far away when you're having fun. :eek: [/quote']Hmmm...Short term gain for long term pain??!!

You may be onto something. For me, it relaxes me and combats anxiety. I'll have to try abstaining and see what effect it has thenextday or two. I've got a little too dependent on it lately.

Yes my boyfriend is back overseas now. Loneliness is definitely a problem. I tried joining a few clubs etc, but I can never make the leap from people who you say hi to in a class for example to someone you would call just to chat or go to a movie with.
And that's tough since the first thing that comes to my mind is 'Hey, do you want to go for a beer sometime?'. Well, I suppose you could do that, then order a coffee or cranberry and soda or something. I'm meeting more and more people who don't drink nowadays. I'll admit though it's a problem for me too. Except, I have to convince the women I meet that their kids will not die if left alone with their hubby for one night:eek: We can be such martyrs sometimes.

Of course being a perfectionist' date=' I only see 40% failure, not the progress I'm making. Thanks for pointing out that I have made some progress.[/quote'] Statistically, perfectionists, as a group tend to be more depressed than others. I try to think in terms of "Is 80% good enough?". For most things, it is. Typically,that last 20% to get to perfection will also take 80% more time.

I'll try asking people about their family or life. My problem is I don't pick up on social cues until too late. It's like there is some social code that most people understand intuitively' date=' but I've only picked up a few of the rules, such as "how are you" is not really saying what the words mean, but rather a social ritual with a prescribed answer and response to that answer. And when somebody compliments you, you are supposed to compliment them back. I'm trying to learn but the rules seem to be very complicated and I didn't get it when I was young. I guess it's that normal people are intimidating because they know the rules of the game, and I don't.[/quote'] i hear you. I feel the same. There must be book out there on "the rules". My CBT therapist told me it's just because I'm depressed. I don't think so. I think there's some social skills we were supposed to learn as kids and if somehow we missed the lesson, we'll just never 'get it'. It certainly does help when I'm in a good mood, but that's too unreliable. Maybe a good thing to research next.

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Statistically, perfectionists, as a group tend to use 90% more statistics than others. ;-)

It's also a way to make our gut-feeling negative self-talk seem more authoritative.

I, too, never really "got" the idea of why people were saying "hi" to me in the halls in high school. We had just seen each other two classes earlier!

Now, though, I find I'm better at it, and not because I've learned a lot of rules. Instead, it's because when I'm in a new social situation, unlike before, I'm not focused on myself and my fears, as much. So it's not "Gah, what's the right answer to 'how are you'" so much. It makes it easier to focus on the spirit in which the other person asked ...

I don't know if I explained it very well, but it helped me.

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Statistically, perfectionists, as a group tend to use 90% more statistics than others. ;-)
ha hah - I like that one Mark:0.

Now' date=' though, I find I'm better at it, and not because I've learned a lot of rules. Instead, it's because when I'm in a new social situation, unlike before, I'm not focused on myself and my fears, as much. So it's not "Gah, what's the right answer to 'how are you'" so much. It makes it easier to focus on the spirit in which the other person asked ...[/quote'] That sounds like a shift in attitude, but also somehow you have become less self conscious. How did you get to that point?

Anyway, in the spirit of attempting some kind of initial research, here is a site that might be helpful: http://www.peopleskillsdecoded.com/how-to-make-friends/

However, i think it would be far more useful to find a book written by an authority on the topic, and keeping in mind the deeper psychological aspects that are often present in people who have difficulty making friends. I can be reasonably sociable for a short time then it gets into "once you really get to know me, you'll run". Then i think people subconsciously pick up on that fear and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Or the other problem - I'm super comfortable with people who are really bad for me.

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I think reading about social skills is like reading a book about bike riding. You might get some insights, but can't really learn it by thinking, "ok first I balance.. then I contract glutes, then hamstrings..."

Sometimes I can go in and not focus on how awkward I am, but that is rare. Wish I could make it more often. I did ask someone about their kids today at work. Felt super uncomfortable afterward but I at least didn't run away screaming. :( One saving grace is I love finding new skills so maybe this is one I could work on for a while.

I also have a tendency to be super comfortable around the wrong people. Then when I get burned I am distrustful around trustworthy people and I push them away.

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I think reading about social skills is like reading a book about bike riding. You might get some insights, but can't really learn it by thinking, "ok first I balance.. then I contract glutes, then hamstrings..."
I agree to some extent, although I think getting tips would increase my confidence. Making the same mistakes over and over doesn't seem to work for me. But I also realize it's about practise, practise, practise so not getting out with people just isn't going to help either.

Sometimes I can go in and not focus on how awkward I am' date=' but that is rare. Wish I could make it more often. I did ask someone about their kids today at work. Felt super uncomfortable afterward but I at least didn't run away screaming. :( One saving grace is I love finding new skills so maybe this is one I could work on for a while. [/quote'] Somehow I can't picture you running away screaming:rolleyes:. Anyway...Way to go:). I got somebody's phone number today. She was the only ski instructor that my "spaghetti legs' youngest would let teach her. I just got talking with her and it seems we have bunch of things in common. Kinda in the same 'boat' as me. Not sure if that's a good thing but...at least we understand each other.

I also have a tendency to be super comfortable around the wrong people. Then when I get burned I am distrustful around trustworthy people and I push them away.

Yes, this is a problem for me too. In fact, probably my biggest problem when it comes to meeting nice single guys. Maybe that's why your LD relationship is working so well? You can't push him away so easily.
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I think my relationship is working in spite of, not because of the long distance. He is the one person I trusted who really deserved it and the relationship has gone very well as a result.

I found a website a while ago that talks about social skills:

http://www.succeedsocially.com/

What I like about this one is it's just a collection of essays and they aren't trying to sell you anything. Written from something of a male perspective though but there might be some useful info there. Hope that helps.

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Sounds like you have a pretty great relationship. I guess its just a matter of dealing with the loneliness when he's not around.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Have a great New Year's Ralph:)

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